Campaign for Hollywood studios to film in Ireland and boost 'screen tourism'

In recent years, Disney created a number of productions in Ireland including The Last Duel and Star Wars, while Netflix is currently in production here with Vikings: Valhalla
Campaign for Hollywood studios to film in Ireland and boost 'screen tourism'

Matt Damon waves to the crowd as he leaves the set of the Last Duel, a historical drama-thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, at Cahir Castle in Co Tipperary. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A virtual trade mission is underway to promote Ireland as a filming destination for Hollywood studios, including Disney.

In the wake of yesterday’s Oscar nominations, which saw Kilkenny-based illustration studio Cartoon Saloon in the running for best Animated Feature Film for Wolfwalkers, Screen Ireland is leading a series of meetings with US studios and streamers to encourage more film industries to consider Ireland as a base for shooting and production.

Ireland has a history of strong links with the creative screen industry in Los Angeles and this year Irish-produced film and TV projects, including Normal People and Calm with Horses, have featured heavily within the international award season. The film, TV and animation sector in Ireland is worth €692 million.

Wolfwalkers is among the Oscars nominees for Animated Feature Film. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.
Wolfwalkers is among the Oscars nominees for Animated Feature Film. Pictures Courtesy of Cartoon Saloon.

“Since the last trade mission to Los Angeles, US-Ireland industry partnerships have continued to grow with Irish projects achieving critical and commercial success around the globe,” said Désirée Finnegan, chief executive of Screen Ireland.

“Despite many challenges, the Irish creative screen industries have demonstrated resilience throughout the pandemic. This trade mission aims to further strengthen relationships with our US partners and build towards future industry growth and success.” 

Screen Ireland and the Minister for Arts, Catherine Martin TD are leading the virtual LA trade mission to strengthen working relationships between the Irish screen industry and the world’s largest streaming and production companies. They hope to build on recent successes by updating industry leaders on the continued growth of the film sector in Ireland and by both strengthening existing partnerships and securing new ones.

Vikings was filmed in Ireland, as was its spin-off for Netflix, Vikings: Valhalla
Vikings was filmed in Ireland, as was its spin-off for Netflix, Vikings: Valhalla

“The sector has doubled in size in the last 10 years, and with additional production infrastructure planned, together with the continued work of Screen Ireland to grow the skills base, we are well-positioned to realise our ambition to be a global hub for content production,” Martin said.

“In addition, the use of Ireland as an iconic film location has the added benefit of generating ‘screen tourism’ and thereby attracting more visitors to Ireland.” 

Meetings will take place with senior executives from LA-based studios, content creators and streaming services and the Irish delegation, which also includes Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Tourism Ireland and the Consulate General of Ireland.

Since Screen Ireland’s last trade mission to Los Angeles in September 2019, the Irish creative industries have experienced significant international success. In recent years, Disney created a number of productions in Ireland including The Last Duel and Star Wars, while Netflix is currently in production here with Vikings: Valhalla, and animation projects with Brown Bag Films and Cartoon Saloon.

Cartoon Saloon has also partnered with Apple on the critically acclaimed Wolfwalkers, and the Apple TV series Foundation. Warner Media recently announced a newly acquired coproduction series for Cartoonito Ladybird Lu with Nine Story/ Brown Bag Films.

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